Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of theFather, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
After Lazarus had been dead for four days, Jesus called him forth from the grave. When he came out, he was still wrapped in his grave clothes. At that point, Jesus instructed those standing near him to unbind him and set him free.
The story is a vivid picture of a believer's condition at the time of his conversion. He becomes fully alive spiritually when he receives Christ as his savior. However, he is still bound, as it were, in the old grave clothes that do not come off immediately, as they did not with Lazarus. While we are freed from the penalty of sin and power of sin over us, the old nature remains, and thus we still struggle with the old nature.
Not only that, but believers today are continually tempted to put the grave clothes back on--the graves clothes being of course, sin or the giving into sin. In reality, there are Christians today who say, I know that I should not do this or that, but I can't help it. Probably, most Christians have felt this way at some point.
In fact, there are a good number of Christians who live as if God indeed gave the power for salvation, but when it comes to gaining power over the sin nature or their daily sinful habits, they live as if God left them to work this out on their own.
Such a disposition, though, would raise the question as to the power of theCross. Was Christ death on the cross only sufficient to give us salvation, or did it not include the power to live in victory and power over sin in our daily lives? In other words, is there more to the Cross when it comes to our daily Christian lives?
The Apostle Paul in Romans 6 made it clear that the Cross of Christ, His death, set us free from the old nature's dominion, that we might walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4). The original Greek text brings out the richness of this statement. For example, the phrase "might walk" is a Greek subjunctive mood, meaning we have the potential to experience transformational changes in our lives through the power of the Holy Spirit working in us.
The Cross of Christ has not only provided a means of saving grace, but also has provided the Divine Scalpel that will help sever the power of sin daily in our lives that leads to transformational realities.
Miles Stanford stated it well:
Through the crucifixion of the old man with Christ the believer has been made dead unto sin, he has been completely freed from sin's power, he has been taken beyond sin's grip. The claim of sin upon him has been nullified. This is the flawless provision of God's grace but this accomplished fact can only become an actual reality in the believer's experience as faith lays hold upon it and enables him moment by moment, day by day, though temptation assail him, 'to reckon' it true. As He reckons, the Holy Spirit makes it real; as he continues to reckon, the Holy continues to make it real.
Stanford really sums up what the Apostle Paul stated in Romans 6. This week as you think about Christ's death, remember there is power in the Cross, not just for salvation and eternity, but for victorious living every day.